Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Hunt For The Wilderpeople


In 'Hunt For The Wilderpeople' a troubled teenager is fostered out to a couple who live near New Zealand wilderness from where he enters a whole new world of troublesome activities.

This New Zealand film is based on a series of books which I understand are beloved in that country and so it has proved very popular there notwithstanding that the movie departs at some points from the books.

When I saw the trailer my reaction was that I wouldn't enjoy the somewhat parochial humour and I only went to see the film as a companion for a friend rather than through personal choice.

I'm glad I did. Despite my misgiving I enjoyed much of the humour and the film itself has some quite heartwarming aspects.

Besides that, the wilderness scenes are often breath taking.

An unexpected pleasure.

★★★1/2

Sunday, 26 June 2016

My lost timeline

A friend asked me recently why I hadn't acknowledged the birthday wishes she sent me.

'What birthday wishes?', I asked.

'The message I placed on your timeline', said she.

'My timeline? What timeline?', I asked.

'Your Facebook timeline' said she.


Facebook.

Ah yes.

I joined Facebook shortly after its launch. It seemed an interesting idea but it only took me a few months at best to tire of the countless friend requests from complete strangers around the world with whom I appeared to have little in common and what seemed like a mountain of emails pinging in my in tray all day long.

At the time it seemed there was no way to shut down an account so I took the next best steps and stopped using the service altogether not even as a curiosity for occasional enquiries or observation. That seemed to work. Apart from the occasional (annual?) email mentioning that I hadn't accessed my account in some time which offered help in restoring my password in case I had forgotten it, I was not bothered by the ubiquitous service again.

Until this week and the unrequited birthday wishes.

Fearing it was a dangerous thing to do, I accessed my account using a newly established password (for indeed I had forgotten my earlier password), found my timeline and the aforementioned wishes and I sent the desired acknowledgement.

Facebook is a more complex looking affair now. I have been conscious during my Facebook dormant era that others use it to keep loved ones informed of their travel and other celebrations and whilst I was never sorry about being inactive I did think occasionally how useful it could be in keeping those I want informed up to date about myself.

Inevitably I have been drawn back into the demon site. The effect has been immediate. Former work colleagues and friends have spotted me there and the friend requests are flowing. Someone I worked with in Beijing more than 35 years ago and with whom I have had not a single contact since and who now lives outside Washington DC spotted me after only two days.

I have tracked down some friends too, although without necessarily asking each of them to befriend me (again). Andrew is one I located on Facebook but as his site appears untouched since 2012 I decided to leave him be.

No doubt I will tire of Facebook yet again but for now, in the approximate dialogue from, I think, 'The Godfather' and with a New York criminal twang, I say that 'I keep trying to get myself out and they keep drawing me back in'.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Back At The Dojo


Belvoir Street Theatre

In 'Back At The Dojo' the playwright Lally Katz tells the story of how her father, after a misspent youth, met his future wife and her mother after he joined a karate club. The play tells the story in flashback with the present day set in a hospital where Katz's father sits vigil besides his comatose wife and their estranged transexual grand-daughter has come to visit.

Although a very personal tale - I'm not certain whether the transexual grand-daughter subtext is fictitious or also based on Katz's family history - I never really got into this play. The company performs the play well and the karate scenes with an actual Sensei leading the cast in karate moves are impressive. Unfortunately I didn't really develop an interest in any of the characters, apart from the Sensei herself.

★★

Friday, 24 June 2016

Old and new

An interesting upgrade of an old building with new extensions, part of the Liberty Place complex in Sydney's Central Business District.


I think it looks better in reality than in my photograph.